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How can we make washing machines last?

Graham Watson

8th March 2021

A common question about the nature of consumer appliances asks to what extent are they built to last?

The implication is that many firms ensure that they factor in built-in obsolescence and the dramatic fall in the real price of appliances since the 1960s means that when appliances break we're increasingly inclined to replace, rather than fix them.

Read this article from BBC News

Of course, the flip side of this is that such 'fast consumption' increases waste, which is why the Swedes are looking to encourage a culture where repairing appliances is the way forward and some companies, notably Electrolux, are developing schemes that allow for a flat rate repair service.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to Tutor2U, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.


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